Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Hypothesis: Sexism and Congratulations on New Baby!

Let me know if you think I'm right about this.

There is research from around the world that parents tend to favor having boys. For example, we know that parents are more likely to have a second or third child if their first and second are girls.*

Recently, a friend of mine had her 20 week sonogram to find out the sex of her baby.

It is a girl!!

Around the office I heard lots of congratulatory remarks, one of which I have heard before but only now made this connection. Here's the remark:

It doesn't matter what the sex is, as long as its healthy!

I am wondering if people are more likely to say this when they hear from the prospective parent that it is a girl.

What do you think?

*Here is some relevant research:
Dahl, Gordon B. and Enrico Moretti. 2008. “The Demand for Sons.” Review of Economic Studies, 75(4): 1085-1120.

Emerson, Patrick M. and AndrĂ© P. Souza. 2007. “Child Labor, School Attendance, and Intrahousehold Gender Bias in Brazil.” World Bank Economic Review, 21(2): 301-316.

Duflo, Esther. 2003. “Grandmothers and Granddaughters: Old-Age Pensions and Intrahousehold Allocation in South Africa.” World Bank Economic Review, 17(1): 1-25.

1 comment:

Mwa said...

We had a boy first, and then a girl. In Belgium (I had no idea before) this is called "an emperor's wish". If you have the girl first, it's not. So girls are ok, but only if you have a boy first.